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Hauraki Plains College students Tawio Emery and Te Wai Howie-Ward in front of the Police boat. Photo: KELLEY TANTAU

Police vessel Deodar III stops in Thames

Students waiting on the Thames wharf for the large police boat to draw near worried they might get sea sick. Others were too excited to sleep the night before.
The anticipation was high on September 14, as pupils from across the Valley awaited the rare arrival of Deodar III – a police maritime unit vessel first launched in 2007. The morning was organised by Thames-Coromandel school community officer Senior Constable Brian Connors, who was joined by fellow Police staff and the local Coastguard.
“On one of my trainings with the maritime unit, I’d asked whether they’d be happy to come into Thames and they said yes.
“So, effectively, on one of their training days, they’ve sent one of their crew to bring the big boat down, and have allowed me to put 12 schools through the vessel,” he told The Profile.
“I asked the principals to choose up to 10 special students that might not be the top of everything all the time, but always aspire to do the best they can and don’t always get recognised for it.”
Primary school students from Tapu to Hikutaia, and high schoolers from Paeroa, Hauraki, Thames, and Waihī were able to explore the vessel, while students involved in the Hauraki-Coromandel Secondary School Police Pathway Programme were also in attendance.
“Thames doesn’t very often see a big boat come in these days, so hopefully this will be an eye-opener,” Brian said.
“And I’m pretty sure there will be a few rubber-neckers driving down the road here coming to have a look.”
Matatoki School student Gracie Miller, 13, said her favourite part of the vessel was the helm of the boat.
“It felt like a helicopter,” she said. “It was really high.
“The boat was really cool and big and all the technology in it was really interesting… The [free] sausages were really good too.”